Finland is located in the far North of Europe, between its neighbours Sweden and Russia. The main language is Finnish; Swedish is also an official language thanks to a Swedish minority, a result of 600 years as part of the Swedish Empire. Helsinki, the capital, is by far the largest city in Finland. Other large towns include Espoo, Tampere and Turku.
Finland’s world-leading higher education system offers more than 500 English-taught bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes in 13 universities and 22 universities of applied sciences (UAS). The universities also offer English-taught doctoral degree options. Finnish higher education institutions have over 20 000 international students studying in several locations around Finland.
Statistics on Higher Education in Finland
After the alignment of the European educational systems as part of the Bologna reform, many Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences have increased the number of English-language Bachelor and Master programmes. Finland has about 40 institutions of higher education, which are commonly classified into either universities (classical research and teaching institutions) or polytechnics, sometimes called universities of applied sciences (with a more practice-oriented approach to teaching). There are slightly over 300,000 students at polytechnics and universities in Finland, about 20,000 of which are international students.
For students from the EU/EEA, most academic degree programs are free of charge. Tuition fees may apply for applicants from other countries, and they vary from school to school.
Job market for graduates
Finland is a welcoming country for foreigners. However, the big challenge for international graduates is the Finnish language. It is considered to be one of the world’s most complicated languages. Even though almost everyone in Finland has a decent knowledge of English, it is vital to know at least a bit of Finnish for the workplace. But the Finnish authorities are doing their best to attract and keep talent in Finland.
Finland is located at the Northern edge of Europe. Helsinki Vantaa, in the capital, is one of the more important airport hubs in the Nordic region with many international flights. Via Finnair, there are especially convenient connections to East Asia and China in particular. Smaller airports in the rest of the country are sometimes serviced by low-cost carriers such as Ryanair, but are otherwise connected via Helsinki.